Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Visionary

Recommendation

Rebecca Onie is a co-founder of Health Leads, a program that addresses the social and economic root causes of illness. Now operating in several major American cities, Health Leads is revolutionizing patient care by prescribing food and heat to low-income patients whose ailments derive from malnutrition and cold housing. In this inspiring oration, Onie describes her vision – a true health care system instead of a “sick care system.” getAbstract admires Onie’s singular plight to repair a broken system and recommends her story to anyone trying to change a rigid structure.

Summary

In 1965, Dr. Jack Geiger founded a clinic in an impoverished area of the Mississippi Delta, and he prescribed food for patients suffering from malnutrition. When the Office of Economic Opportunity learned of Geiger’s approach, the agency threatened to cut off the clinic’s funding, stating that Geiger was misappropriating money budgeted for medicine. Geiger responded by saying, “The last time I checked my textbooks, the specific therapy for malnutrition was food.” Some 50 years later, the American health care system continues to operate as a “sick care” system; that is, people don’t receive treatment until ...

About the Speaker

Rebecca Onie is a co-founder of Health Leads, a program that tackles the social and economic root causes of illness.


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